1,500 metres of track have so far been installed on Newcastle’s light rail route through the CBD, with workers now having spent a total of half a million work hours on its construction.
The first fully completed section of track near Brown Street is open, and the sewer main replacements on Hunter Street have been completed.
Parliamentary secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said it was “pleasing” to see milestones like these reached with the project remaining on schedule.
“With light rail construction starting in September 2017, workers have already clocked up the equivalent of 300 employees’ annual workload, which is no surprise when you see the progress made to date,” MacDonald said.
“More than 1,700 individuals have worked on the light rail construction site, the civil and rail contractors are based in Newcastle, and so is the manufacturer that handles the rail prior to installation. This is truly a project built by locals.”
Revitalising Newcastle Program Director Michael Cassel said that over a quarter of the track has now been built through Parramatta’s CBD, with construction due to be completed later in the year and the network to become operational by the beginning of 2019.
“So much of the construction effort is below ground, and with most of that part of the job done, you can now see track coming together along the route by the day,” Cassel said.
“We’re starting to see our new footpaths completed along Hunter Street, and anyone who has been to Civic lately would have noticed widened, blue-stone paved sidewalks that will be the hallmark of our pedestrian friendly city centre.
“Newcastle is still open for business during light rail construction, and I encourage locals to visit the city centre, see progress on the track, and visit some of the unique businesses on offer.”